JUDGE RIGTHEOUSLY

judge

John 7:24 KJV: Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement.

 

“JUDGE NOT” – that partial scripture is probably quoted more often than John 3:16. But almost no one completes the verse – “…For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged…”  If I want to be judged with kid gloves, I’d better judge my brother with kid gloves.

 

This bit about not judging has allowed a ridiculous standard of behavior to become accepted among Christian Americans! Watching movies with four-letter words, sunbathing in a 3/4 inch bikini strip (OK, so I exaggerate a little. I raise that to a 2 inch strip), preaching a love message without repentance, claiming deductions that are “iffy,” wearing three-caret rings and $5,000 watches, dancing parties for 12 year-olds, coming before God with praise and dirty hands, honoring the wearing of tattoos, bearing the pain of 5 inch heels (they are sooo sexy), divorcing because you are “no longer in love,” well, you get where I’m coming from!

Jesus said for us to take care of the plank in our own eyes “and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  Isn’t it odd that he did not tell us to take care of own eyes and leave our brother’s eye alone?  We have an obligation to others when they are moving in ways that will hurt them.  That requires some judging – or maybe “evaluating” sounds better.  

One of the gifts of the Spirit is discernment—which I would expect would require some judging. We are told that we will recognize each other by our love. Does that require judging? We are told not to associate with sinful brothers. Does that require judging? We are told to go to our brother and warn him when we see him in error. Does that require judging?

BUT, we are only to judge those inside the church, not outside the church (I Cor. 5:12). May God bless us with pastors who care enough to warn us against encroaching, insidious evil, even if it is dressed as love and tolerance!

Ouch! Excuse me, you all, while I go get this plank out of my eye.

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Image:  Pixabay

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HOW MARVELOUS!

sleeping baby

 

With a thankful heart,

I watch her chest rise and fall.

Behold God’s marvel.

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https://ronovanwrites.com/2018/10/15/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-223-risefall/

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MONEY – ALL MIGHTY

greed

(A continuation of 2 Peter 2;1-3, False Prophets, from yesterday.  https://onetahayes.com/2018/10/14/false-prophets/)

2 Peter 2:1-3 “…In their greed these (false) teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.” Of course our minds are immediately drawn to the extravagant TV preachers who leach money from little old ladies. And that is true; but there are other ways. Me talking, opinion only.

I have seen about everything in local churches that do not evidence the spirit in which I believe we are to give our tithes and offerings—having everyone stand who will give $1000, $100, $10, etc; pledges, faith offerings, planning budget, matched offerings, person who takes offering shows his offering, all those pressure techniques. I was sitting in the choir loft once upon a time when the preacher made a show of giving his check, then I believe he put the check back in his wallet. I could hardly believe my eyes; I doubt my own story but I think that’s what he did.

Some people claim “God gave me a message for you” then offer to sell it to you. I want to say, “if you worked your fingers to the bone for that message, you deserve money for it. If God gave it to you for me, then you give it to me.”  I’d pay expenses if necessary.

But if God really gave him/her the message for me, then he probably will help with the postage to get it to me! Like me taking a gift to my neighbor, telling her God told me to give it to her, then ask for ten bucks for it!

I know the “workman is worthy of his hire” and have no problem with preachers, singers, etc selling their wares. They research, organize, type,  take lessons, go to school, preach the sermon, pray, and they  deserve pay.  Just don’t claim God gave it to you to give me, then charge me. Again, it’s just me talking.  Maybe you see it differently.

And the holding money up in air with shouts of “joy?” Give me a break. Preach what the Bible says about tithes and offerings, pass the hat, or install offering boxes, and trust God to meet the need the same way you tell the “lay” person to trust God to meet the need.

Many people want to expand their ministries beyond what God might plan for them. I’ve never known of one who said, “Stop, we have enough, as Moses did (Ex 36:6); I think Solomon also. Anyone out there know the other time that happened in the OT? So they keep needing more until it becomes an empire and the preacher becomes an administrator rather than a minister/pastor.

There is scripture for tithes and offerings, but not psychology. But I will admit Paul used a bit of psychology on some of the churches when raising money for the church in Jerusalem. (Romans 15:26) If Macedonia and Achaia did it, you should too! Oh well, that doesn’t make me like it! Still, just sayin’.

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image:  unsplash, Vitaly Taranov

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FALSE PROPHETS

masks 

2 Peter 2:1-3 “false prophets…false teachers…many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.”

The Bible does not state that this will be a “later day” sign. But in this day of mass communication—particularly radio and television—the ability to influence multitudes of people is much greater than in past times.

Charlatans have always been, but by necessity they have been “local” charlatans subject to scrutiny in a way that is not possible now. 1 Tim. 4:2 call these types “hypocritical liars.” 2 Tim. 4:3-4 speaks of people with itching ears who turn their ears from truth and turn aside to myths (fables). Combine people who want to be told “stories” and given promises, with preachers who will gladly oblige them and you will get a mixture of “blind leading the blind.” At least it is my opinion that many are blind, but not all—some have evil intent. Such actions do “bring the way of truth into disrepute.”

We have all heard the scoffers who love to point to the fallen Christian and make him/her the “logo” for all Christians.  A true Christian is one who follows Christ and attempts to be like him in actions and attitude.  “Christians” who follow man/woman as their model for behavior will be woefully awakened on Judgement Day.  Jesus said many will call him Lord but their sins will keep them from him.

We laughingly tell stories of the radio preachers who say something like this, “All those who were standing outside, are making their way down the aisle” giving the impression of great crowds while it actually means the deacon, his wife, and kids are coming in.

We jokingly call it evangelisticly speaking. Inside joke for those in the “family” but in truth it is “bringing the way of truth into disrepute.” 

May you be blessed by wonderful pastors who point you to Christ rather than to themselves.

Have a blessed Sunday.

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‘TIS FALL AGAIN

roses season

As I look around the yard I see rose bushes in various stages of beauty. Granted I do not think “beauty” when I see the lush colorful flowers drop and leave only hulls. But think again, if the bloom doesn’t drop, no new blooms will come. Very much like life’s cycle, isn’t it?

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My friends look around and rejoice

Lauding “Fall” with grateful voice.

The hot summer is past

And cool comes at last.

“Give us Fall,” they say, “that’s our choice.”

I gallantly maintain a grin

And try to “keep up my chin.”

Enjoy the colors of Autumn –

I’ve really not yet hit rock bottom,

So, Grumpy, I’ll not let you win!

I strive against being crotchety.

And remember that my philosophy

Is to “Trust God for the seasons –

‘Cause He had his reasons

To set them without consulting me!”

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Job 38:2  (God speaks)  “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WHAT JOY AWAITS!

heaven

My last breath finished,

I’ll be united with God.

A blissful future!

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Submitted in response to Ronovan’s prompt words, “breath/unite”

https://ronovanwrites.com/2018/10/08/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-222-breathunite/

And the prompt word “finish” by GirlieOnTheEdge.

https://girlieontheedge1.wordpress.com/

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THE OLD COUNTY LIBRARY

library

The old library still stands.  It was here that I was first exposed to the joys of a library.  I discovered mysterious secrets solved by Nancy  Drew; sorrowed when Jo married the “old man” in Little Women;  dreamed of being a nurse like Cherry Ames.

I read about poor children in “The Boxcar Children” and “The Five Little Peppers” all the while envying the brothers and sisters who played together.

I fell in love with the Hardy Boys.  I enjoyed their books, but fell in love with the boys!  I can’t remember which was my favorite, probably Frank.

Ahh, Libraries!

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Written for 100-word Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

https://rochellewisoff.com/

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2,260,994,360 IN ADDITION TO MINE!

deed2

Within the boundaries of the United States there are 2,260,994,361, and I own one of them.  I have considered giving it up.  It would be pretty easy to do; lots of folks would want it.  However, I don’t know that very many would put the value on it that I put on it.  Chances are really great that I will never own one again if I give mine up.  I try to convince myself that I will be just as happy with one in Heaven but …I don’t know….seeing is believing, you know!  And I can pull out the contract for my one acre, see that it is properly documented—and, yes, it belongs to me!  Right here I sit right in the middle of it, in a house, in a suburb, in a city, in a state, in the USA.  But…how secure it is really?

 In this day of self-sufficiency, women’s equality, and “anybody-can-do-it” if they just try hard enough, it is not politically correct for a woman to be dependent—to be relying on Him –I guess, whether Him is a man or Him is God.

Anyway I am back to that point in this discussion about the security of my one little acre.  Of course, everybody agrees I should have insurance in case the house burns, but how can you secure an acre of ground.  I guess there would be a way, but I don’t know it.  My acre is not on a coast line where it might wash away. There is no mountain to fall on it.  An earthquake big enough to take away my acre is highly unlikely.  Being seized for mineral rights, oil rights, or water rights—don’t think so. How about an oil spill right out of the ground?  Not likely, but I might be interested!

So, what else?  Isn’t it secure?  How would I ever lose it?   Would it ever be called on for eminent domain?  Possibly.  Can I be placed in a situation where I would borrow money on it and lose it to some money lender?  Possibly.  Is it possible that my government would become socialist or some other form whereby they could take it away from me?  Possibly.  Is it possible I might be told to scoot all my belonging over on one side of the acre so others could live on the land with me?  Possibly.  Could it be possible to move me into a care facility and turn my land to medicare for taking over my care?  Possibly.

So these questions show me big time that I’m not big enough, smart enough, rich enough, strong enough to choose to be independent.  About the only thing that secures me is that I’m old enough that those things are not likely to happen before I leave this acre!  That’s not a very pleasant way of escape!  Maybe I ought to give more thought to that acre in Heaven!

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Edited and re-blogged

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BE HOLY – BE CLEAN

clean

In Leviticus the law is being given.  It is important to God that his people obey his law.  So God moves to a new revelation of Himself, the Holy One, the God who wants holy people and the God who will make his people holy.  He is Jehovah-M’Kaddish, the God who sanctifies.

This name, Jehovah-M’Kaddish, is not used in English Bibles, so it is sometimes overlooked as one of God’s Jehovah names.“Sanctify yourselves therefore and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.  And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you” (Lev. 20:7,8).  As he gives the law, he periodically punctuates his commands with the serious command “Be ye holy..”  (11:44; 19:2; 20:26;)

But how can that be?  Another look at the verse, shows that we ourselves have a part to do with our sanctification, but, thank God, we have his assurance that he is the sanctifier.  He is our foundation for holiness.  Paul says (I Thes. 5:23) “…the very God of peace, sanctify you holy…”

Jehovah-M’Kaddish indwells his people and empowers them to be pure in spirit, mind, and body.  The questions of when, how, who, etc. are distractions that take away from the simple fact that God wants holy people and he is willing to help them become holy.

A few years ago, I served as a volunteer chaplain at the County jail.  A newly confessed Christian there asked our chaplain how he could know for sure that he had been saved.  The chaplain replied, “give yourself a couple of weeks, and you will know” meaning if there was no change in your life then you’re not a Christian.

That comes across as harsh and crude to most of us who have been bouncing around like rubber balls trying to answer how, who, when questions.  But if a sinner becomes a new creature (as the Bible says), surely his behavior and/or attitude toward his behavior will become apparent upon his becoming a holy child of a holy God.  Jesus continually intercedes for us.  When a Christian sins, he should quickly come to Jesus, confess that sin and receive Christ’s forgiveness.  Keep clean!

There is a saying about our bringing the fish to Jesus and He will clean them.  But how does he clean them?  Isn’t it by the preaching of the Word and the modeling of Christian behavior?   Church, quit stalling; preach  and live holiness.

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Image:  pixels.com

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WHO WATCHING OUT FOR YOU?

lion

The Lion of Judah  – that’s who!

THE FOLLOWING IS A TRUE STORY, BUT NOT NECESSARILY RECOMMENDED!  Keith was an 17-year-old bully who took special delight in threatening and intimidating my son,  14-year-old Carl.  I begged Keith to quit his torment.  Keith laughed and said he knew where Carl mowed lawns so Carl couldn’t stay “holed up” inside.  He would “get” him some day.  I reported the incident to Dad.

One day Keith encountered dad instead of me or Carl. Dad took Keith by the neck of the shirt, drew his fist back and said, “You’re looking for a fight and you’re just about to find one—but it ain’t gonna be with my son.” He turned Keith loose.  Keith left and didn’t come back.  The neighborhood news was that he had joined the army.  I don’t necessarily recommend that method of handling the “Keiths” of the world, but I get a laugh when I think about Jesus doing the devil that way.  Do you like a “Father” who fights for you?  Me, too!

JEHOVAH-NISSI  –   Jesus Christ is the banner, the “ensign of the people” (Is. 11:10).  Jesus said of Himself in John 16:33, “I have overcome the world.”  Is. 55:4 refers to the Messiah as the leader and commander.  And Romans 8:31, 37 says, “…If God be for us, who can be against us?…we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”  Intercession is something Jesus does for me now.  My Banner is seated at the right hand of the father, acting as my high priest and intercessor.  Even now he prays for me.  And I trust fully in the power and effectiveness of his prayers for me.  It doesn’t matter what your spiritual battle is  – it rests in the Lord’s hands.

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Image:  Unsplash, Sander Wehkamp

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